We saw a recent article entitled If you think cybersecurity isn’t a big deal, guess again. The author tells of looking for images of a baseball player, clicking on one—and that’s when the adventure started:
“I started to get a bunch of official-looking pop-ups telling me that my computer was infected with all sorts of nasty viruses. They also told me that all I needed to do in order to mitigate the threat was to click on the button contained in the pop-up window and the anti-virus program — which had a very official-sounding name—would make the crisis disappear.”
“I knew enough not to do that. So what I did instead was close the pop-up. That was a big mistake, as clicking anywhere on the desktop is what actually unleashes the virus.
“This particular virus was particularly nasty, burrowing deep into my operating system and rendering my computer inoperable. It took the IT guy two days just to find where the virus was hiding in my system, and then several hours to get rid of it and fix the damage to my operating system. It was a total pain. “
What should he have done? Power off his computer immediately and call his IT people. Stat.
When infected, many people ask: “Why didn’t my antivirus software stop it?” No antivirus software is 100%; things can and will slip through. Unfortunately, whether you are an individual or a corporation, downtime is costly in terms of both repair and … being down.
Here is the $64,000 question: do you have current backups? Many times it is a lot less costly just to wipe an infected computer and reinstall the system from scratch—reloading all your software and restoring your data.
But if your data backup is not current and we have to try to salvage the system instead of wiping it, it is not out of the realm of possibility to spend a couple of days trying to rid the system of the virus as described in the scenario above.